Freshman U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, crosses the aisle to co-sponsor Democratic legislation at a higher rate than all but three of his Republican colleagues in the House, according to figures from Quorum Analytics, a Washington firm that tracks federal legislation for trade associations, lobbyists and others.
Mast has been a co-sponsor on 123 bills in the 115th Congress, including 37 — or 30 percent — that were sponsored by Democrats, according to Quorum’s research.
Among House Republicans, only Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami (38 percent), Walter Jones of North Carolina (35 percent) and Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania (31 percent) were co-sponsors on a higher percentage of Democratic bills.
Democrats are more likely than Republicans to sign on as co-sponsors of bills sponsored by the other party because of their status as the minority party. More than two-thirds of the bills that Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., has co-sponsored have Republicans as the lead sponsor, and five other House Democrats are above 50 percent.
Within Palm Beach County’s House delegation, according to Quorum, Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, is the 69th most bipartisan Democrat out of 193 House Democrats, with 32 percent of the bills she has co-sponsored having a Republican as lead sponsor. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, ranks 102nd in the Democratic caucus at 27 percent and Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, ranks 111th at 26 percent.
The Democratic legislation Mast has co-sponsored includes a few ceremonial and post office-naming bills, but also a bill sponsored by Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., to limit President Donald Trump‘s ability to waive sanctions against Russia, a measure to establish a Climate Solutions Commission, the Marine Oil Spill Prevention Act, the U.S.-Israel Common Defense Authorization Act, the U.S.-Israel Joint Missile Defense Act, a Frankel bill to ease the sale of foreign-flagged yachts in the U.S. and several defense and veteran-related bills. Mast is a decorated Army veteran who lost both his legs after a bomb blast in Afghanistan.
In an October analysis, Quorum Analytics said Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio were among the most bipartisan members of their parties with regard to co-sponsoring bills. For Nelson, 52 percent of the bills he co-sponsored had Republicans as lead sponsor. For Rubio, 35 percent of co-sponsored bills had Democratic sponsors.